Ruth DeGabriele had a big reason for that big smile this afternoon: She’s celebrating her 100th birthday.
As has become custom in this pandemic spring, her celebration was outdoors – decorations outside her North Admiral home, friends driving and walking by for greetings at a healthy distance:
Ruth has had quite a life:
Her daughter Michele DeGabriele shared Ruth’s story:
She has been a West Seattle resident since 1942!
My mom was born in Beattie, Kansas. Her parents lost their farm in the Dust Bowl and the family traveled out west in 1937 in the “truck house” – a truck her father converted to a mobile home for them to travel in.
She was the first woman bellhop in the Pacific Northwest (the Washington Hotel in Portland, Oregon):
She met my father, who was an identical twin, when she lived in the apartment above the twins’ grocery store ‘Ray and Al’s Fine Foods,’ on the corner of California Ave and SW Walker St.
They married in 1950 and started their family in 1951, having four children within five years. All 4 of us children are WSHS alums!
She is still living in the same house they bought in 1950 and is a pillar of the neighborhood. Their house on the 1900 block of 41st Street was a voting precinct for about 60 years … until mail-in ballots in Washington were instated.
She has survived all her siblings, most of her friends, and one granddaughter.
As you might imagine, a bigger party was planned, with many family members traveling to be part of it, but COVID-19 canceled that. Happy hundredth, Ruth!